Saturday, 16 November 2013

Release Day! Want to Win a Free Ebook?

I love the idea of second chances, and I think they can be a good thing, but not always an easy road to follow.  Rekindled Fire is a story about being able to revisit old attractions and see where they lead. ................It is finally finished.

Yes indeed .... Rekindled Fire is finally available for sale.

Peter and Beth's story is up on Amazon.
(Paperback and other formats coming soon.)


Eighteen months ago, Beth Watson lost her husband in a tragic accident. Since that night, she has harbored a terrible guilt that his death was her fault. Could her unwilling attraction to another man have gotten her husband killed or was it a tragic accident?
Peter Holden is a broken man. Struggling with his past, he fights to be strong and steadfast for the people in his life. Feeling like he is juggling too many balls, his troubles are increased because his wife has dumped him and ran away with his best friend; leaving him holding the bag with no one to help out with their kids. Out of options, he calls the one woman he swore he would always stay away from, his old friend Beth.

Does she dare step in to help him out? Can they get beyond the past to build a future together or will the past ruin them both?

Check it out , just click on the cover.

Leave a comment to be entered to win a copy! I would love to hear your story of revisited attraction.


Sunday, 27 October 2013

At Freaking Long Last: Progress

Finally, at long, long, long last, my newest novel is nearing completion. :)

This one is a bit of a departure for me. It is a contemporary romance, not erotica. In all honesty, I kind of fell into the erotica writing game by accident. For years now, I have wanted to write a romance and I have written dozens of them. Frankly, they weren’t that good. No surprise there, one’s first works are fraught with learning and missing a lot of essentials. Still, I wrote and submitted, got rejected, tweaked and resubmitted. I wrote some more and kept on submitting. I would like to think that my writing improved with each attempt. During the early years of writing, I received a lot of feedback from the publishers I submitted to. Generally, the comment was that my story-lines sucked and my sex scenes rocked. But I kept writing for a while. Then, I took a nine year hiatus.

The stories kept coming to me, and I made copious notes, but not once in those years did I sit down and try to actually complete a story of any length. Recently, I was wandering around the Internet and stumbled on a call for submission by Etopia Press. I thought, “I can do that.” And I scratched out an erotic novella, edited dozens of times and sent it off. Much to my delight, they accepted the story and published it. That was quite a while ago, but 

It brings us to today. I have kept up with the writing. I write virtually every day. Stories keep popping into my head. Some based on things I have seen or over-heard, others are completely random images of scenes.

My most recent work has been, by far, the hardest thing I have ever written. I laughed, I cried, I cursed, I swore. I wrote, deleted, edited, wrote some more and kept on slamming away at it.  The final result is Rekindled Fire, a contemporary romance. It is about 66,000 words. And so far, my beta readers (those who have started sending me feedback) like it. My fabulous cover girl, Jenn Howard worked like a dog to bring my cover vision to life. (She is fabulously patient with my quirks and change requests!)

I’m sure there is still some tweaking to do, and much more editing as well. But I am optimistic that it will be released by November 15th. It will be available in ebook and print formats. (Amazon first, then other formats as these things take time.)
My fabulous new cover.
Created by Cover Goddess
Jenn Howard.

     Beth Watson has made more than one mistake in her life, but she doesn’t know how she is ever going to get beyond the fact that her actions may have caused her husband’s death. He died mistakenly thinking she was having an affair with his best friend, Peter. Nothing she can do can ever bring him back, or stifle the guilt she feels over her actions.
     Trapped in a loveless marriage, Peter Holden has had just about enough of his wayward wife’s selfishness. But when she runs off to Hawaii with their neighbor and leaves Peter holding the bag, trying to juggle critical business meetings and their children, he has no option but to call the one woman he swore he would stay away from. Beth.
     Nothing good can come of stepping in to help Peter out of his dilemma, but Beth finds herself helpless to deny his request. Reluctantly, she gives in to his pleas and steps in to help, but she refuses to give in to the attraction still sparking between them. Why didn’t she realise how difficult it would be to resist the man who ever set her heart on fire and makes her burn for things she shouldn’t want? Things she doesn’t deserve?

 Excerpt: (Keep in mind, that this is not the final version. We're going into edits now.)
     A soft knock sounded on the door. “Are you talking to yourself? Or have you got someone in there with you?” Peter’s voice was light with laughter.
     She opened the door to find him leaning sexily with one shoulder against the doorjamb. When she looked up at him, a slow smile spread across his face.
     “Hi,” she whispered, her smile matching his. “Morning.” Her heart pounded in her chest. He was so sexy standing there in his pajama bottoms, his hair messed up, and looking half asleep. It was nearly her undoing. She swallowed hard. She wanted to touch him, to taste every inch of his skin.
     “Morning Beth.” He touched her cheek lightly with one finger and leaned towards her.
     Oh, he’s going to kiss me.
     No. Yes. Please. She waited, her breath held in anticipation. Or was it fear? She eased back, just a fraction, putting more distance between them.
     Peter swayed forward, just a bit before his hand slowly lowered to his side and they stood there staring, smiling at each other. “Morning,” she said again. “Guess I already said that.” She blushed. “Coffee should be ready,” she told him, trying to break the tension that seemed to crackle between them. “I started it before I showered. You need to shower. I’ll cook while you shower and shave.” She battled the urge to stroke the stubble on his cheek. “Scrambled eggs and toast okay with you? Or would you rather have -?”
     His finger on her lips stopped her flow of words. “Did you know that you babble when you’re nervous?” When she blushed again he added, “I think it’s cute.” His finger traced the line of her lower lip. “Scrambled eggs and toast will be fine. Please.”
     She wiggled her way between him and the door frame, careful not to touch him. “You have fifteen minutes,” she said and hurried down the hall. In the kitchen she collapsed against the counter and closed her eyes. The drawer handle dug into her back but she didn’t notice. Damn. Being here was such a bad idea. How could she continue to resist him when he was that close? Why did he have to keep touching her? Was he oblivious to his effect on her? Or did he know how his touch affected her and was he teasing?
     “What’s the matter Beth?” His voice held laughter.
    Her eyes popped open and she stared at him. She hadn’t known he followed her to the kitchen. He took three long strides and stood in front of her, well inside her personal space. She couldn’t retreat with the counter pressed against her back.
    “You seem jumpy this morning.”
Drop me an email if you are interested in an advance reader copy of Rekindled Fire. Perhaps you would like to read this store early (for free), in exchange for writing an honest review?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Can a Leopard Change its Spots?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about change. Changes in your life, changes in your person. In my own life, things are morphing. I am coming to the end of my time as a pet store manager and am about to begin my time as a day-care grandmother. Yup, I’m going to be babysitting my wee granddaughter a couple days of week when her mother returns to work. I am excited about it, and I am scared to death. It has been a long time since I had a child entrusted to my care and it makes me nervous. But what fun we will have. Toys, books and games. Naps!

I can’t wait to read to my grandchildren. I’ve already started a collection of books. (Okay, I confess, I saved all my own children’s books.) This week we visited the bookstore and picked out a dozen new board books for her. (Some are for my house, some are for hers.) At eleven months, she doesn’t have much patience for sitting, but seems to enjoy me reading to her while she plays with other toys and she like looking at them on her own. Life is grand! (We writers want everyone to develop a love of the written word.)

Oh yeah, this blog started with talk about changes. I nearly forgot where I was going with that. It always seems that just when I adapt to the current routine, something new pops up and I have to adapt again. It is a darn good thing that people have that adaptability skill. I wonder how long it will take me to make the adjustment from working woman to stay at home grandmother. I am hopeful that it will be a quick change and that I will find more time to write when I am finished working; if not in the daytime, perhaps in the evenings.

I need that writing time. I need to put pen to paper (metaphorically speaking) and purge the stories that fill my head. Some are short and some are longer; some of them are downright bizarre, but they all clamour for release. I am hoping, no I am planning, to make more time for writing down those. And that is good news for my readers!

But these are small changes; changes in situations or routines. But what about personality changes? What about when you take a close look at yourself and decide that you don’t like everything you see? What happens then?

It is a difficult thing when you realize that there are very ugly facets of your personality. It is painful to think that this might be what people see when they look at you. I few months ago, I dealt with a particularly fractious and miserable client at work. She was snappish, argumentative, rude and disagreeable. She complained about the assortment of foods, the quality of toys, the leashes, the prices and about many other facets of the store, including how long it took to get service. It took rather a lot of self-control not to snap at her and be nasty right back. Truthfully, I don’t know why I didn’t; typically, I would have.

A few days later, I popped into Timmy’s to get a coffee. It was crazy busy and I found my patience wearing thin. At that point, an image of my grumpy customer popped into my head and I realized that there were days when I act exactly as she did. It wasn’t a proud moment for me. In fact, I was ashamed at how many times I had made someone’s life miserable without true cause.

I spent a lot of time thinking about this. And at length, decided that it was time to make some changes. I’m doing my best, but it isn’t always easy to be patient and understanding. Harder still is to continue looking for the best in other people and to smile.

But you know what; I think it might be working. Deep inside I feel happier and I think I am actually becoming a more patient and pleasant person.

A few weeks ago, a young girl came into the shop and stood by the door looking worried. She looked to be about ten or twelve. She had one small dog wiggling in her arms and another on a leash. I offered her help and she declined and told me that her aunt had told her to wait there for her. I found a spare leash for the dog in her arms so he could be on the floor, and I talked to her a bit about the dogs. About fifteen minutes later, her aunt showed up and they were off.

A few days later, the aunt came back to the store, and told me that while her niece had waited inside the store, she was buys tracking down a stray dog that was running up and down the busy street beside the store. After telling me why she had sent her niece to wait in the store, she said, “Oh, I’m glad I finally found you. I’ve been back a couple of times looking for you. I just wanted to thank you for being so kind to my niece. She said you were very welcoming and made her feel comfortable while she waited for me. We really appreciate what you did.” It was touching to be told this by someone who was out risking life and limb to rescue a stray animal.

Now, the point of this story isn’t that I am a wonderful person. It’s that I did something as simple as talking to a child and it made a huge impact on her. When that woman left, I felt like a million dollars, I want that feeling every day. Years from now, when I am gone, I want people to think of me and remember the kindness I have shown them, not the bitchy side that is so easy to let out.

I want to find the joy in living and being kind and understanding.

I want to change, for the better. And I am excited to teach the joy of giving and kindness to my grandchildren. This leopard is trying to change her spots.


Monday, 1 July 2013

I Am A Coward

It’s true. I am a coward. Not just a plain old coward, but a coward of the first magnitude. I am scared to death to try anything new or different. I’m not talking sky-diving here; I’m talking simple things. I don’t like trying new foods; I don’t like trying on new clothing styles. I don’t like ANYTHING new or different. I’m stuck in a rut and I can’t seem to force myself out of it. I’ve been like this for my entire life and frankly, it irritates me beyond belief.

Objectively, I know that new experiences are good for you. I also know that if I buck up my courage and try something different, I don’t regret it.

What I do regret is not having the balls to try things. New experiences, once in a lifetime experiences come my way and I chicken out. I pass on them. I let them go by un-tasted, unchallenged.

Recently, I had the chance to do something out of the ordinary. For the purposes of this discussion, it doesn’t matter what; it only matters that the chance was there. I dithered and puttered about, without making a decision for so long that by the time I decided to go for it, the opportunity had passed. I had missed my chance.

I’ve spent the past few days banging my head into the wall, metaphorically speaking, because I passed up this opportunity. I am vowing here and now not to let this happen again. I have finally realized that I regret the things I don’t do much more than the things I do.

The next time someone offers me the chance to shake things up and try something new, I’m going to pull on my big girl panties and just go for it. To hell with everyone and everything, damn the torpedoes. I’m going for it. I’m going to take that chance and live dangerously.

Watch out world, here I come! (Maybe.)

PS: Happy Canada Day!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Reading, A Writer's Perspective

We’ve already established the fact that I am a writer (even if I do write somewhat sporadically.) We have also established that my mind doesn’t work quite like anyone else’s. I think that being a writer gives me a different perspective than many people, on a lot of things. This morning I was lying in bed thinking and I started to wonder if a writer looked at their reading material the same way as other people.

Like most of the writers I know, I am a book collector. There is no way in the world I will ever catch up on my to-be-read pile. I have over six hundred unread books on my Kindle and at least that many on the shelves littered about my house.

In the past, I would read books and then evaluate them. If I thought I might want to read them again, I saved them if not, I took them to the second hand store and traded them in. Lately, with the advent of e-readers I find myself increasingly reluctant to part with the few paperbacks and hand-covers that cross my desk. As much as I love my Kindle, it just isn’t the same as the printed word, so my print library continues to grow.

I must confess that I have not yet read all of the print books in my house. I intend to, but there are so many things I want to read; stories, biographies, history, self-help, poetry, children’s books, science … anything. I keep finding new things to read. I keep on reading and taking items from the to-be-read list, but I add to the list faster than I take things off of it.

I read a lot. I read every single day. Earlier this week a friend said to me, “Reading again?” He smiled when he said it. I replied by saying “Ya, I’m like that,” and he laughed with me. He teases me a lot about how often he sees me reading. But then, I am usually waiting for my husband when we see each other, and reading is the perfect way to pass time when you are waiting for someone else.

I cannot finish a book that I am not enjoying. I admit it, if I am not moved by a book I will set it aside and approach it again later. Sometimes the story you pick up just isn’t what fits your emotional needs of the moment. That is when a story gets set aside to be re-visited later. On occasion a book is so poorly written that I just cannot read it. Often, I can get beyond poor editing and ignore some grammar and spelling mistakes. (Lord knows editing is a big pain in the ass.) But plot holes incense me. I’m sorry but if the heroine’s house burns down in the second chapter, she sure as hell better not be wearing last year’s Halloween costume in the middle of the book. Grrrr. By the same token, if she puts on a blue dress to go to the party, it better not be red when she gets home (sexy plot-line notwithstanding.) Those kinds of mistakes are unforgivable. As is changing the hero’s name half way through the story or leaving loose ends untied. Those are things that will get your book pitched across the room and earn you a bad review. Sometimes, it is all I can do not to launch my Kindle into the wall and only the cost of replacing it stops me from hurling it against the brick hearth.

Story length doesn’t matter much to me either. Sometimes it only takes a short space to tell a story, other times it takes longer. I can enjoy a short story or novella just as easily as I can a lengthier tome. In fact, sometimes I am looking for a quick read and choose accordingly.

I read for pleasure, to educate, to entertain, to research and for pure escapism. Give me a good book over television or a movie any day. My mind can take another author’s words and twist them and paint a picture that suits my impression of the story and I am not left with dissatisfaction that the movie makers failed to see the story, setting and characters the right way, the way I see them.

I have friends who don’t read at all, they find reading boring. I can’t even fathom that. Reading can take you to so many places and into so many different realities. You can watch from the sidelines or let yourself become totally immersed in a new world and become someone else entirely for a while. I like that. Other friends read, and are drawn into the story for the few hours it takes them to finish a book. Then, they are onto something else. Unlike them, I often find myself wondering about what comes next, or what the secondary characters in a story went on to do. Occasionally, I make up my own stories about the world I have just left.

So yeah, I guess I would have to say that as a writer, I view my reading material differently from other people. And you know what? That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

How about you? Do you revisit fictional worlds?
Are you a print reader or do you prefer digital books?


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Creative Genius: Donald Maass

This has been a fabulous weekend so far. Friday I managed to have a very productive writing day, which is always a good thing for me, and for my readers. Yesterday I attended a workshop hosted by CaRWA (Calgary chapter of Romance Writers ofAmerica.) Yes, I consider myself a romance writer (among other genres.) In spite of what I have published so far, my focus is on romance. I love a good romance! Unfortunately, not all the stories running amok in my head are romances. Many of them don’t fit into any specific category or genre. I’m good with that. I just want to tell stories.(And with any kind of luck at all, people will want to read them.)

Anyway, back to the workshop … While the workshop was hosted by a romance writer’s group, romance wasn’t the focus at all. The focus was on writing a story that would draw your reader in and keep them captive for the entire story. Creating a page turner. Our special guest was Donald Maass, author and literary agent. He is definately a man who knows what he is talking about, and is an inspiring, entertaining speaker.

We talked about sympathetic characters that were also realistic characters. People with quirks and foibles and conflicting emotions. People who feel those deep, dark and secret emotions that we all feel and refuse to acknowledge to ourselves, let alone to another living being.

We revisited high-school English class and talked about hidden and overt symbolism and how it helps reinforce the story and the message behind the story. I cannot tell you how much it kills me to admit that Miss Morrison knew what she was talking about in English class.

We took notes, did hands on exercises with our current WIP’s (works in progress.) We worked with our own ideas and with other attendees and the work of published authors as well. By noon, my head was abuzz with ideas and ways to improve the projects I am working on. By the end of the day, I was hitting information overload. It was crazy how many improvements to my stories leapt into my head. There were a couple points where it was all I could do not to whip open my laptop and dive into a story.

I know that there is a lot of information not covered in class that is available in his books. So I have ordered them and eagerly await their arrival. (Yes for some things, many things, I still prefer a printed paper book in my hot little hands.) If you are interested, you can find more information on Donald and his books here.

I am optimistic that I have taken away some valuable information that will improve my writing. I like to think I craft a decent tale, but I am certain, beyond doubt, that there is great room for improvement. And, I believe that my readers are worth the extra effort it takes to re-think how I sculpt my characters and worlds to make them better.
Oh yeah, did I mention that
Donald is as cute as a bug's ear?

As for me on this sunny Sunday … I am sitting in the sun, coffee and laptop at the ready. I’m going to have a productive day putting Donald’s advice into action. Maybe today is the day to begin my evil plot to write the mixed genre novel. It is going to be an erotic, shape shifter, vampire, steampunk, sci-fi, murder mystery, adventure, romantic, western, historical, thriller. It will be my biography. Okay maybe it won’t be my biography. But the story I have waking me up at night is definitely a mixed genre one and I have decided to go whole hog and chase after it. (How’s that for mixing your metaphors?)


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Finding Time for Your Passions

Have you ever noticed that life has a way of throwing curve balls at you? Just about the time you think you have everything under control, shit hits the fan. You know what I mean. You finally get the credit cards paid off and the car goes KLUNK and dies on the freeway. The Christmas bills are paid and the furnace blows up. You finally free up a four day weekend for relaxing and doing nothing when Great Aunt Bethany calls to say she’s coming to town for a few days. It is easy to get caught up in the little things and lose sight of your passions. A few extra hours at work; a couple dinner invitations; people making demands on your time and asking you to do things for them; it all adds up and eats into your time.

How do you find time for those passions? When do you say no? When do you start to let things slide? When do you shout at the world, “Enough is enough?”  But most importantly, how do you decide which things occupy your time?

Personally I am selfish. I try my best not to neglect my needs. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean I refuse all requests or tell people to take a flying leap when they ask for a favour or for some help. I just do my very best to make time for the things that I love to do, for the things that nurture my soul. I try to hear what my mind and my soul are telling me.

I am a creative person and I try to be aware when my creative side screams for an outlet. I NEED to do crafty things. I need to write stories. Some are good, some are awful, but they need released from the crowded confines of my mind or my head will explode. My house is littered with the detritus of my creative side. There are piles of partial manuscripts, writing materials and reference manuals. There are balls of yarn, knitting projects, needlepoint canvases and half-finished baby afghans. My studio looks like a fabric truck exploded inside of it. Fabric is stacked and draped on every surface, pattern books stick out of weird places, all higgety piggety.  Generally, I have so many projects on the go that I can’t decide what to work on. My husband says that I have Magpie Syndrome; I get distracted by bright shiny or colourful objects. He may be right. Personally I think it is just my creative side trying to escape and express itself to save my sanity.

The trouble is that sometimes it is hard to fit that creativity, that passion into my life. But somehow I manage it. It is a very rare day that goes by when I don’t indulge myself. Sometimes it is with writing (most days); sometimes it is a couple rows of crochet or a bit of applique or quilting. To find the time, I have turned down invitations to coffee, to home clothing parties, dinners, and on occasion, I tell my man that I cannot go with him to Home Depot, or that he has to wait an hour while I stitch this. Recently, I have told my kids I don’t have time to visit. That isn’t as cruel and heartless as it sounds. I see one daughter and her family at least five days a week, so a missed visit isn’t a big thing for any of us. My other daughter is as busy as I am, so I rarely turn down the chance to see her.

For years and years, I cleaned my house from stem-to-stern at least once a week, sometimes more often. Now, I’m doing good to get it done once a month. We don’t live in squalor. I’ve just changed my priorities. Things are clean enough. Nobody who comes over complains, in fact one fellow says, “I like coming here, I feel comfortable, like I was at home. I’m not worried about destroying a show-home.” The first thing he does when he shows up is take his socks off … so the floors can’t be that dirty.

The joke around here is that if I have cleaned up, someone must be coming over. (And usually that is true!) And hubby has taken over the dishes and the laundry. This leaves me more time to play with the things that nurture me and keep me sane and happy. Because we all know that if Katie isn’t happy, no one is happy!

It’s about balance. It’s about not neglecting your needs to meet the needs of others. It’s about being who you need to be and not feeling guilty when you say no or when the toilet doesn’t get scrubbed exactly on schedule.

Remember the move Goonies? They were under the wishing well and had to choose between following a dream and searching for One Eyes Willie’s treasure and returning to the world of their parents. Remember Mikey’s passion speech about time and staying a Goonie? “Our parents, they want the bestest stuff for us. But right now they gotta do what's right for them, 'cause it's their time. Their time, up there. Down here it's our time. It's our time down here. That's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket.” Mikey had it right! Stand up for your time, not what is right for the people in your life. Be strong, be a Goonie and make time for your passion. Make time for you! Stay out of Troy’s bucket!

What is your passion and how are you going to find time to fit it into your schedule?

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

To Create Fiction or To Write a Blog Post

To create fiction or to write a blog post? That is the question.

 So things have been pretty hectic around here. But then, they usually are. There are always people coming and going. I have a day job. I have a small business I run in my spare time. I have a beautiful new granddaughter. I have two lovely daughters both of whom are fairly newly married. I have an incredible husband and some very good friends. I love to quilt, doodle, crochet and do a wicked amount of other crafty and creative things. Sometimes, I even hit the gym or go for a walk. The trouble is that all these things tangle together and get into each other’s way. But mostly, they get in the way of my writing.

Yes, I am fully aware that I choose which things to spend time on, and which to kick to the curb for a while. When writing gets pushed aside, it is more likely that I will ignore my blogs than my works of fiction.

In spite of the fact that writing is sometimes painfully like stripping your soul bare and beating your head into a rock, I find time almost every day to scratch down some ideas or to putter away at one of my current fiction works in progress. Some days the writing is brutal and terrible to read, put I plug away anyhow and do my best to get words onto paper (metaphorically speaking.) When those words are not fit to be read, they get rewritten or deleted entirely the next time I work on that story. If the scene or idea doesn’t fit that story, it gets cut and saved elsewhere.

I really do try to do a blog post weekly, though clearly that isn’t happening. Today I asked myself why writing a blog post was so different from writing a story. Here’s what I came up with. When I am working on a novel, it gets written, rewritten, edited, tweaked, proofread, fiddled with, scrubbed and polished. A blog post gets written, edited and posted. Mine are the only eyes that see it before yours do. A novel sees mine (over and over and over), several beta readers, several proof readers and on occasion a reviewer or two before it hits the public eye.

Comparatively speaking, I probably write 20,000 story words for every blog post I write. By that I mean words worth keeping. At the end of a writing day, I probably only keep about half of the words I type. I write, revise and review. Then, when I fire up the story the next time, I scroll back a couple dozen pages and start re-reading. This serves a number of purposes.

1.       It gets me into the flow of the story so that my tone is the same and the mood isn’t killed.
2.       It helps me find gross errors.
3.       It refreshes my memory on where I was going.
4.       I find places where what I think I wrote and what I did write are entirely different.
5.       It helps me eliminate total drivel not worthy or reading.
6.       It helps me find good plot bits that are not quite right for the story but are worth saving. 

The lowly blog post doesn’t get such lofty treatment. Sure, there are a few that get puttered away at over time, but mostly they are off the cuff, rambling and rather pointless. They are kind of a peek into the insanity that is my thought process.

The other thing is those story ideas come to me from out of nowhere. I’ll be walking along and an idea will just explode into my head. Often I have to stop and scratch down some notes or a bit of dialogue so I don’t forget the idea. Blog post ideas are harder to come by. I want to come off as reasonably intelligent. I don’t want you to know that I am flying by the seat of my pants and making shit up as I go along. So I have to plan blog posts ahead and frankly sometimes my post ideas aren’t all that good. Sometimes I don’t have any ideas at all.

It really isn’t fair to my blog readers. They deserve better. They deserve posts that are meaningful, insightful, thought provoking or at least entertaining. What they get is the usual drivel that drifted unattended through my mind. They get a look at who I really am and I’m not altogether sure that is a good thing. I want them to think of me as Danielle Steel, Stephen King, JK Rowling or other lofty, famous writers. I want a bit of mystique and a devoted following of slathering fans.

How selfish and vain is that?

Funny how most of us want our five minutes of fame.  Not that I ever expect to become famous … and since I am more likely to become famous from writing stories than from writing blog posts, you can expect these posts to remain sporadic and somewhat random in content and format. 


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Toxic People: Ditch Them!

Before I get started on this mini-rant, let me make it perfectly clear that I am not a mental health professional in any capacity. What I am is a writer; I write about what interests me and I always call it as it see it. Today I am talking about something that I have found works for me and that is saving your own sanity by getting rid of the toxic people in your life.

There are all types of people in this world. Some are good, some are bad, most lie someplace in between. Some are great people, but just don’t mix well with you. (Yes I know, that actually makes three types, but go with it.)

Overall, I’m a pretty easy-going individual.  I get along with most people and I try to find the good in everyone. I can put up with just about anyone for short periods of time. With some people this is a lot more difficult than with others. I have known people who just plain irritate me. I’ve known whiners, criers, bitchers, perverts, creeps and users. But I’ve also known smilers, helpers, singers and huggers.

There are, and always will be people who bring out the worst in us; people who elicit a negative reaction. Here are a few of the types of people I have cut out of my life or have reduced contact with as much as is humanly possible.
Angry Anita: nothing is ever good enough, she is always mad about something.
Bragging Becky: brags about everything. Hers is the best, the biggest, the brightest.
Dramatic Danielle: Everything she does is for full dramatic effect. Nothing so bad ever happened to you; hers was worse. She just rolls from one crisis to the next.
Creepy Cas: there is just something about him that sets my skin on edge and creeps me out.
Critical Cal: finds fault in everything. Nothing is ever good enough. It’s too big, too small, too lose, too tight, too hot, too cold, it’s just plain too!
Free-loader Fred: never pays his way, begs, borrows or steals everything he needs, shows up just in time for dinner.
Holy Roller Ralph: judges you against his idea of what God wants from you and tells you how you fail.
Joking Jerry: nothing is ever serious; life is all one big joke.
Lying Lisa: never tells the truth if a lie will work.
Moody Melody: her mood swings like the tides. Up, down, back, forth, happy, sad.
Negative Nellie: everything she says and does is negative and depressing. There is no positive in her world.
Pitiful Paula: whines and cries continually about how bad her life is.
Pervert Pete: can’t carry on a conversation without making a pass.
Selfish Stan: everything is about him and what the world owes him.
Take Credit Tanis: She is sure to take credit for all your hard work and pass the buck when things go wrong.
Thieving Thelma: steals something from every place she goes. Stores, restaurants, homes etc.
Using Ursula: life is all about what she can get from everyone and how she can use the system to her benefit.
Vampire Vanessa: you can’t put your finger on what it is, but when you spend time with Vanessa, you come away feeling like your emotions have been sucked right out of you. You are dry, worn-out and beat. You just can’t take another thing and have nothing left; good or bad.
Whining Wanda: it isn’t what she says, but how she says it with a continual whine in her voice.
Woe is Me Wally: Everything is negative; he is always put upon and hard done by.

Let’s compare these Negative Nellie’s with the kind of people I choose to keep in my life.

Affectionate Andrea: Never hesitates to be caring and affectionate. Loves us all.
Calm Clarissa: helping us maintain calm and rational.
Caring Colleen: Cares for everyone. A nurturer and helpmate.
Courteous Cassandra: Mindful of manners and the feelings of others.
Diplomatic Dianne: Always manages to get her point across diplomatically.
Enthusiastic Emma: filling each day with enthusiasm and excitement.
Fair-minded Fanny: Tries to see the issue from all sides before voicing her opinion.
Friendly Francine: Warm and welcoming to everyone she meets.
Generous Gina: Helps out where needed, happily shares what she has.
Gentle Greta: A soft, caring individual. Gentle with everyone, even when she is upset.
Gracious Gloria: Kind, courteous and pleasant.
Helpful Henry: ready to help out where he can.
Honest Ollie: Strict with the truth, even if it sometimes hurts.
Hugging Hank: With a ready hug to comfort and cheer you up. We all need hugs every day.
Humorous Harry: Bringing fun and laughs to us all.
Joyful Jodie: Always finds the joy, the bright side, the silver lining.
Loving Lisa: She is the girl with a hug and kindness for everyone.
Kindly Kelly: Ready with a kind word or helping hand.
Positive Paulina: Finding the positive in every person and in every moment.
Reliable Rita: You can always count on her to follow through on her word.
Singing Sandra: She may not always be singing, but she puts a song in your heart every time.
Smiling Sarah: Always has a smile and a kind word.
Sympathetic Sally: Understands what you are going through.
Warmhearted Wanda: generous, giving, warm hearted and wonderful to be around.

Life and the universe have a way of battering us back and forth and of dishing out crap until we don’t know which way is up. We get enough stress every day without allowing the negative personalities in our lives to bring us down.

We all know people who exhibit negative tendencies to one degree or another. Those aren’t the ones I am talking about. I’m talking about people who only seem to have one personality trait and you can’t break away from it for anything. Their entire being is negativity and dealing with them drains you, angers you, or puts you in a sour mood.

I’m made a determined effort to cut these people out of my life. When push comes to shove, there are only a couple people who I no longer talk to in any capacity. You know the type; you avoid them at all costs, you don’t answer their calls, you turn and walk on the other side of the street when you see them coming.

I have limited my contact with them for my own sanity. Most recently, I’ve cut a bragger free. I got tired of her boasts, lies and stealing credit for other people’s work. The other was a whiner and user who abused charities and spent all her time crying about how hard done she is. When it didn’t leave me spitting mad, contact with these two left me drained and exhausted. So I walked away. I stopped accepting calls and avoid them when I can. While this isn’t always possible, I limit my contact as much as possible.

Cruel? Maybe, but I feel better and there comes a point in our lives that we have to do what is best for us and say to hell with the rest of the world. It was a tough decision, but I really do believe that sometimes we have to ‘man up’ and kick people like this out of our lives.
Think about it!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Naughty Winners

Okay, okay … I admit it. I have been very lax in posting the winners on the blog hop. But, here goes ..... drum roll please. 

I used an on line random number generator …. It pulled number 37. I counted down from the top and the winner is …  j dot m dot platt at gmail dot com  (I tried to copy and paste the generator result here, but my tech skills are sadly lacking and it kept messing with my formatting …. So you will just have to take my word for it. *grin*)  j.m will be receiving a digital copy of Corralling the Cowboy and of Tessa’s Trio. 

And because I had so much fun with the blog hop, I am choosing another winner.

whitk227 (at) gmail (dot) com (Because she loved her grandmother so much.) She will get a copy of her choice of Cowboy or Tessa. 

Because the comment amused me (she thinks like me) grapeapril75(AT)gmail(DOT)com  April said “Thanks for doing the hop!! You are one of the new authors I found to follow on Goodreads!! Thanks for the sexy read this morning!” April also gets to choose between Cowboy and Tessa.

I will be notifying all winners by email.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by. I hope you all found some sexy new authors to read! I know I did. Thanks too to Skye for hosting us all.


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Naughty New Year's Blog Hop: Part Two

I am so excited that I am giving away another copy of Tessa's Trio ... and I am doing it because I am thrilled at how many fabulous blogs are taking part in this blog hop. I had previewed the list and found a number of authors whose work I enjoy. Yesterday (while I was supposed to be working at my day job) I stopped by a number of blogs on the hop. Wow. All I can say is wow, holy hamburgers batman. My to-be-read pile is growing by leaps and bounds. I’ve found new books and books on author’s back lists. New authors, old favourites. How exciting this is for a consummate, addicted reader like myself.

My own list of stories is quite short. I have The Gift, Corralling the Cowboy, and Tessa’s Trio. As a bonus on my blog you will find a short story I wrote for a friend with a foot fetish, Admitting Defeat. If you have time check them out. If you can’t find the format you prefer, by all means let me know and I’ll get it to you somehow.

Blurb For Corralling the Cowboy

City girl Alex wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary when she headed off to Buffalo Days with her friends. A bit of rodeo, a few rides on the midway, some corn dogs and maybe a couple of beers. She definitely wasn’t expecting to run smack dab into the sexiest hunk of cowboy she had ever laid eyes or hands on.

Joe came to Buffalo Days to support his ranch hands as they took part in the rodeo, and to watch the bulls he raised in the bull riding events. It was never his intention to spend time with a city girl like Alex. In spite of this, he was unable to stop himself from stepping into her path as an attempt to meet her.

Neither of them was expecting the blazing heat that rose between them, or the unbridled passion that burst into flame as the midway grew dark in late evening. There was definitely something between Alex and Joe, and they couldn’t help but explore each other as they tried to come to grips with it.

Would this cowboy catch a city girl? Would this city girl lasso herself a cowboy?

Excerpt for Corralling the Cowboy (A short story.)

It was nearly full dark, and their car stopped at the top of the Ferris wheel. They sat swaying and enjoying the lights as the evening continued to darken around them. The evening had a feel of fun and frivolity, and the expectation of something exciting to come. An occasional a bark of laughter jumped out of the background of tinkling carnival noises. The moon was nearly full, casting its light over everything and pushing the falling darkness back. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” She asked, looking down at the lights of the midway and the city.
“Yes it is,” he said with a catch in his voice.

When she looked at him, he wasn’t looking at the lights, he was staring at her. Joe slid his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close to his side. His breath was soft in her hair, his fingers gentle but firm as he tipped her face up to look at him. Oh my, she thought, I wasn’t expecting this.

“I’m going to kiss you,” he warned softly, leaning slowly towards her.
“I hardly know you,” she responded, tilting her head to the left, wordlessly inviting him in. His lips brushed, feather like, across hers. She shivered and pushed back against him, deepening the contact. She had been aroused since she bumped into him in the beer garden. Now, she wanted him with a desire that shocked her. Something about this man called to her, sending a pulse of longing racing through her to lodge in her core.

“Kiss me again,” she whispered against his lips. She cupped his face between her hands and pulled him closer, pressing her mouth against his. She obeyed without question when he cupped her head and kissed her deeply, demanding she respond in kind. She wanted this, needed it. Her hands dropped to his shoulders and she explored the rock hard muscles there, tracing each contour and line with her fingers. His arms were like rocks and the sheer power of him was almost overwhelming. Joe’s hand cupped her breast and the Ferris wheel gave a small jerk and started its slow descent, jerking her back to reality.
Oh, she thought, I should be resisting this. They were in public, high above the thinning midway crowd and she knew nothing about this man except his name, if Joe Brooks was his real name. Even as the thought formed, she rejected it. Somehow, she was sure he wasn’t lying to her. She felt something new here, and she wanted this, wanted him. It wasn’t like her to be this attracted to a stranger, but the atmosphere, the beer, and Joe were an overpowering combination and she didn’t want to resist. She wasn’t going to resist. She was going to take everything he offered.

He stroked his palm lightly across her breast, and they moaned in unison when her nipple pebbled against his hand. “I want you Alex,” he whispered against her mouth.
She whimpered and arched her back, pushing her breast against his palm. Her hands ranged everywhere, eager to explore every taut muscle of his body. His body was different from the typical man she dated. Joe was definitely used to physical work, and Alex usually dated suit and tie types who kept in shape by making large monthly payments to the local gym. She decided she liked his tight, hard shape with all its muscles and heat.

Alex was startled when the ride attendant cleared his throat. “Last stop folks,” he said with a laugh. “Ride’s over, I’m shutting ‘er down for the night.”
Chagrined, Alex allowed Joe to take her hand and lead her down the ramp and back onto the midway. The people were few and far between, only the die hard rodeo and midway fans remained. It wouldn’t be long before security starting shooing people home. Alex and Joe strolled through the booths, hand in hand listening to the banter of the carnies and laughter of the few remaining guests. A few of the games and food booths were already shut down. As they walked, his thumb stroked her palm and her wrist, sending her mind whirling to thoughts of what those talented hands would feel like on other parts of her body. Her naked body.

Happy Blog Hopping. Remember to comment to win!


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Naughty New Year's Blog Hop

Let's begin with the preliminaries ... One lucky commenter on this blog will win a digital copy of my two most recent books. All commenter's are entered to win the grand prize a $100 gift card to Eden's Fantasy and a digital gift basket of 10 erotica books.

All winners will be notified by email. So be sure to include yours. (add spaces and write out characters to your email to keep away the spam-bots ... like this ... katieoconnorwrites at gmail dot com)

Now onto the fun. New Year's Eve is a favourite holiday of mine. I like to take the time to reflect on the year that has past and make some plans for the one to come. I'm not one for resolutions, but I do like to ponder things to come. My favourite part is spending the evening with my family and my man. We play silly card games or board games, share a few beverages,  and a lot of laughs.

This year New Year's Eve is special. It is the first one spent with my granddaughter. I won't bore you with details, but my first grand child was born this fall. Yes she is still an infant, but there is something very special and heart warming about those firsts. First Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first New Years.  I've let myself get distracted. LOL.

This is an erotic blog hop and you are probably expecting some heat. (You'll find that a little further down.)  :) The best part of New Year's Eve is celebrating the changing of the year with my man. Snuggled up in front of the fire after everyone has gone home we cuddle and kiss and ... you get the idea.

I have yet to write a story that focuses around celebrating the New Year, but I can see may possibilities. Perhaps this should be part of my goals for 2013. These goals include ... writing every day, giving away more copies of my work and work of authors I know, adding more 'kink' to my stories and spending more time 'researching'. *wink wink*

Here's hoping you have a fabulous year in 2013. May the Gods and Goddesses of love and lust visit you often and bring you much titillation and satisfaction.


Be sure to visit all the stops on this fabulous blog hop for more chances to win.  Don't forget to comment below for your chance to win!

Excerpt from "The Gift" (Etopia Press 2011)

Scene: Sammy has tricked Carl into visiting a private lingerie store with her. She intends to seduce him, with the approval of her husband and Carl's girlfriend.

“What the hell is this?” Carl asked, staring around him at the spacious room. One side had a straight-backed chair, a comfortable looking chaise lounge, and an end table with a jug of ice water and two glasses on it. There was also a stool, a cloth and wood room divider, and a rack of clothing. A door to the left was slightly open, revealing a bathroom complete with shower. “I didn’t even know this place had an upstairs.” He ranged around, taking it all in before whirling to confront her. “What the hell is going on?” he demanded.
Sammy pushed a finger against his chest, gently steering him toward the chaise. “Exactly what I told you. I picked out some things for Nick for Christmas, and I want you to help me choose the right ones. Sit,” she demanded with one last shove. “I’ll be right back.”

She slipped behind the curtain and stripped off her clothing as quickly as she could. She had to get this started before he panicked and bolted, or before she lost her nerve entirely. She grabbed the first item off the rack. Perfect. Erin had laid them out in the right order. With a brisk economy of motion, she slipped into a virginal white bra and panty set, then slid on the matching silk stockings and garter belt and slid her feet into a pair of jewelled stilettos.
Carl was standing in front of the chaise looking slightly panicked as he peered around the room, clearly seeking an escape route. She walked slowly toward him, swivelling her hips and mussing her hair. “Hey, lover,” she purred, pushing him back onto the chaise with one touch of her finger. He flopped down and sat staring at her, his mouth making small, flapping motions as if he were trying to say something. She bit back a smile of power. This was fun.
She pivoted on her heel and showed him the back of the outfit. Looking back over her shoulder, she stared at him until he met her eyes. The frantic look had changed to a glaze of arousal. Good. “So,” she asked coyly. “What do you think of this outfit?” She slid one hand down an exposed hip and caressed her backside where it showed under the short panties. She circled her hips the way she’d learnt in her “strip-a-cise” class and spun slowly around. Placing her hands on either side of his head, she leaned toward him, giving him a good view of her cleavage where it swelled over the low cups of the bra, her nipples playing hide and seek with his eyes. “Do you think Nick’ll like it?” she teased and spun around slowly, giving him a full view of the entire outfit. When his breathing increased and his face flushed, she knew she had him.
Placing one heel on the chaise alongside his thigh, she leaned in again. “Well? No answer? Maybe he’d like something different. Maybe in pink.” She trailed her finger along his cheek before sashaying her way back to the dressing room. As she skittered out of the first outfit and into the second, she thought she heard him swear.
“Damn,” Carl swore lowly and adjusted his cock in his jeans. He was as hard as a rock. What the hell was Sammy up to? he wondered. There had to be more to this than shopping for Nick. Oh hell, he thought, let this be going where I want it to.
Sammy reappeared wearing some filmy thing in pale pink. It was short, and when she pivoted before him, still wearing the white stockings and shoes, he could see half her ass under the double layers of chiffon. He grunted under his breath. He was not going to let her get the best of him.
Then it hit him. Gina was in on this, the naughty little minx. She had sent him to see Sammy, saying she needed help with a gift. They had set him up. He smiled to himself. This was going to be fun.
Sammy read the resistance in his eyes and knew it was temporary at best. She cupped her breasts in her hands as if to offer them for his pleasure. “I kind of like pink, don’t you?” she asked, turning and bending from the waist to place her hands on the floor. Her ass was displayed before him, her legs spread so wide he could almost see her dark, puckered sphincter and pussy around the minuscule thong that ran between her legs. “Do you like pink?” she asked again, pumping her hips a bit. She straightened slowly, one vertebra at a time, and turned to face him. She cupped his face in her hands and gave him a quick peck on the mouth. “Guess not,” she quipped. “Maybe green.”
She sauntered into the small space behind the divider, whipped off the outfit and playfully threw it over the divider in his direction. This time she clearly heard the expletive he muttered. She wasn’t worried about the clothing—she’d already paid for all the outfits after Gina helped her pick them out. Her frequent large purchases at this store allowed her the privilege of renting the upstairs for the afternoon. She had played this game once before with Nick and had loved it just as much then as she did now with Carl.
The next outfit took a moment longer to change into, so she kept up a running monologue about how much she loved the feel of silk and lace against her skin. As she slipped into the boy briefs and straightened them out, her finger brushed her pussy, and she was startled by how wet she was already. She took a second to stroke her clit, loving the feel of her moist femininity throbbing against her hand.
At last she stepped into the black and silver pumps and strode cheekily from the room. “What do you think?”
She stood before Carl, hands on her hips, legs spread apart. She thrust her hips at him, revealing that she was naked under the short, floating top of emerald lace. He stared at her without answering. A bit miffed by his stoic response, she put one black heel alongside him on the cushion, and with a quick double hop placed the other leg beside him as well. Standing there, she straddled him, her pussy just inches from his mouth. “No opinion?” she demanded, and thrust her hips forward to ensure he could smell her arousal.
When he sucked in a breath and let out a long sigh, she knew she had him beat.
Thanks for stopping by.
Don't forget to comment below for your chance to win!